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Sentencing underway for off-duty cop who assaulted Dafonte Miller

Michael Theriault, centre, and Christian Theriault, left, arrive at the Durham Region Courthouse in Oshawa, Ont., ahead of Dafonte MIller's testimony, on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

OSHAWA, Ont. – Sentencing arguments are underway in the case of an off-duty Toronto police officer convicted of assault in the beating of a young Black man.

Const. Michael Theriault and his brother, Christian Theriault, were charged with aggravated assault and obstruction of justice in connection with the December 2016 incident in Whitby.

Prosecutors alleged the Theriault brothers chased Dafonte Miller, then 19, and beat him with a metal pipe, leaving him with a ruptured eye and several other injuries.

The defence argued the pair wanted to arrest Miller after catching him and his friends breaking into the Theriault family truck.

They alleged Miller was the one armed with a pipe and the brothers were forced to defend themselves.

In a widely watched virtual hearing in June, Ontario Superior Court Justice Joseph Di Luca said he couldn’t rule out the possibility that self-defence played a role in the early portion of the encounter.

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